Date: May 26th, 2010
Three members of a mysterious group meet again after a long time apart… Is this meeting the harbinger of dark times?
"Broken Memories Pt. 1 - A Simple Meeting"
Land of Grass
The Land of Grass is aptly named. It has many expansive fields of flowers, shrubs, and — rather predictably — grass. Despite the fact that it is one of the smaller of the shinobi nations, the Land of Grass seems to be larger than it actually is, if for no other reason than the vast amount of open space. The sun is shining at the moment, with only a few puffy white clouds dotting the sky, like giant, airborne sheep. In the distant north, however, there are hints of a storm on the horizon.
Something is travelling under the ground, out of sight of anyone who might happen to be in the vicinity. With all the tall grass, it's easy for people or animals to remain hidden, and keep an eye on travellers. Rapidly moving through the earth as though it were air, a large mass of some kind heads towards the north-east… To the border of the Land of Grass and the Land of Waterfalls. Then the moving thing slows and stops. It then rises up through the dirt, plants displacing themselves around it without actually uprooting. A man appears, nearly eight feet tall, dressed in black robes with red clouds, and a black mask with a red question mark in the center.
He has been travelling for at least a few days now, though not all of it was underground. Even his massive amount of Chakra can be strained. So he has emerged both to take a bit of a breather, and to wait for two others to join him. As far as the eye can see in all directions, there is merely grass or flat terrain. Nowhere to hide for normal people. But it will also allow him to spot the approach of those he is expecting, instead of having to search. So now it all comes down to waiting.
Grass. Grass, grass, bushes, and more grass, that's all there was out here! It was flat, kind of pretty, but ultimately, unless one enjoyed such things, rather bland and uninteresting. And when the young blonde-haired woman known as Datura got too bored, she was known to try and MAKE things get interesting.
She looked more like a girl on her way to her favorite concert than a shinobi traveling towards any particular destination, though that was probably the point of her various outfits. Given that she was traveling under a rather open sky, with a whole lot of sun, her clothing was a lot less black than was usual, and she carried with her a frilly little fan with which to flutter her face with whenever the cooling breezes died down. But fall had arrived, so there wouldn't be too many more clear, warm days left to enjoy before people in most countries had to begin bundling up against the weather.
Despite the pleasantness of the day, Datura couldn't help but stifle a yawn, placing the back of her knuckles against her open mouth as she lets out a soft groan, that was almost a hiss. "Ughhhhhhh… Whose idea was it to put these things /so/ far apart?"
And given the male's height that they were on their way to meet, he practically stuck out like a wayward pine tree amongst the otherwise plain, flat terrain, angling her steps slightly to intercept the tall, somewhat forboding figure. Her eyes, which were a deep amethyst today, flick back and forth through the waves of grass as the wind causes them to ripple.
"How do people even hide out here?"
Meanwhile, the sound of the grass being disturbed as something streaks through the fields, striking and pushing aside the vegetation at high-speed, would not be immediately evident, but for fine-tuned senses the fact that SOMETHING is approaching might be detectable. And all one has to do is look to the south-east to see a cloud of dust and dirt that is trailing behind this approaching something. Seishino Kanami is whipping her lower body back and forth quickly, somehow managing to slither across the ground like a snake, upper-body slightly raised above the grass. Her lower body is… Much longer than a human's. And, infact, it greatly resembles a snake's tail — a very BIG snake's tail.
She tears through a field of flowers, sending both petals and pollen spraying upwards in a cloud of gold, white, violet, and other colors, to mix with the dust cloud she is leaving behind her. Then, the woman in the white, serpent-looking mask spots the other two. Her long black hair trailing behind her in the air, she adjusts her course and speeds towards the man and woman. When she gets close enough, she slithers to a stop, lower-body coiling into a pile of scales. Then those coils start to compress and merge together, until they turn into a pair of legs — quickly covered by red and gold kimono that falls over the appendages. In a matter of seconds, Kanami is once again fully human.
"Good day, my prettiessss," she hisses out sibilantly, in a very snake-like voice. The white snake features of the mask appear to be quite realistic… Almost alive! Yellow eyes with slit-pupils look back and forth between Datura and 'Amuro'. "Has either of you seen a young, handsome monk in the vicinity? He promised me I would be his wife… And I intend to ensure he fulfills his obligation!"
The tall man stays where he is, long arms coming up to cross over his broad chest. When Datura comes near enough to speak without yelling, he turns his head towards her, and answers in his extremely deep voice, "There are Jutsu for melding with the environment. As well, Kusagakure ninja are trained in camoflauge. What appears to be grass could instead be grass woven into a cover that can be placed over a pit. Then the Grass-nin simply listens and waits, and occasionaly peeks out every once in awhile. It can be quite boring to sit under a grass cover for hours or days, but it also means that these observers are rarely detected by travellers or intruders."
Then he turns his head in the other direction as he finishes his explanation, spotting the dust cloud — or possibly hearing the racket even from this distance. He waits patiently. When Kanami finally gets close and transforms her tail back into legs, before launching into an impromptu performance… 'Amuro' just answers, "…Is that a new Jutsu? I do not recall seeing you use it before. However… Though I value your acting skills, this is not quite an appropriate location for performances. Abandon the snake-woman for now, if you would."
'Amuro' skips the pleasantries and asking-stupid-questions phase of conversation. Asking 'So you got my message?' or 'Are you both well?' would be pointless. Obviously they got the message, or they wouldn't be here. And obviously these two are well enough to remain standing, and they don't look ill necessarily, so that's also pointless. So instead he moves directly onto business. "How much have your personal goals progressed since last we spoke?" He is probably asking for a reason.
A thin, blonde brow arches slightly at the approaching column of dust, petals, and pollen. Either it was their third leg, or they were about to have to deal with someone very unpleasant! Either way, the young blonde's stride maintains it's leisurely, unhurried course, as if she were afraid she'd break a sweat if she moved too swiftly. She close enough, however, that the two would link up with the tall male at almost the same time.
She glances down at the coil of scales, then back up as they become human legs once again. A titter.
Lips pursed slightly, her nose crinkling just a little bit, the youngest member of the group listens to their leader's explanation of how the grass-nin remained hidden so thoroughly when most any movement out here stuck out like a spot of black on the surface of newly-fallen snow. "Sounds… dirty." She comments, as she picks an imaginary piece of lint off of her shoulder and flicks it away, as if the mere act of thinking about lying in the grass were enough to get her covered in dirt and grime, looking casually away as their defacto boss demands a drop of all non-business-related pretenses.
When prompted by a question, she daintly holds out her limp wrist, palm down, for inspection. "Quite well. They have a new way of making nail polish in Konohagakure. They use the bark of some tree to make a midnight red now." For emphasis, she wiggles her fingertips, which were painted in said color, then, almost as an afterthought, "Unless you meant the information. In which case…" Reaching into the small pouch at her back, she produces a brown envelope wrapped closed in twine, before holding it up with a deadpanned voice. "Ta da."
At Amuro's request and Datura's statement, Kanami throws back her head and laughs wildly, almost derangedly, as her black hair writhes around her head in the air, like a living thing. Then she settles down and says simply, in an amused and NORMAL woman's voice, "As you wish." She removes the snake mask, revealing her amber eyes and elegant facial features. It's a complete contrast to the ugly and disturbing mask she was just wearing. Kanami clips a chain onto the mask and allows it to hang at her waist, from her obi.
She watches, calm and subdued, as Datura shows off her fingernails, and then produces an envelope. "I believe it is possible to get close to the target without being noticed. Whether she has ninja training or not is presently unknown. Iwagakure is putting an awful lot of effort into trying to keep anything other than her public face under wraps. The full report is here." She then allows a scroll to slide out of her right sleeve, and into her waiting left hand, before offering it to Amuro.
Amuro, despite having his left side to Datura, accepts the envelope with his right hand. He then turns and accepts the scroll offered by Kanami with the same hand. With the size of his hands, he is able to hold both at once fairly easily. Further… The air around the two objects in his grasp suddenly seems to warp and distort, spiraling inwards, until space seems to snap back into place. The letter and scroll are both gone. "I will review them along the way," is all he says on that matter.
"Reports indicate that there are many forces gathering in preparation to take the Second Tower. On our current course of action, we will run into conflict with these forces. I do not expect either of you to engage in direct combat, however. Instead, you will be expected to make sure the leaders of those who would interfere are occupied… Or out of action. If this means spreading confusion and chaos by taking control of their leadership, or merely making sure there is no one alive to take charge, or however you wish to go about it, then you may do it. I will need time to ascend the tower. You two will need to make that time. If our fourth member arrives with her allies, she can ease some of the burden."
"You and your… /reptiles/." The blonde rolls her eyes at the unnerving laugh of the older woman, though the expression is replaced by a complacent, just-barely-not-condescending smile as she leans over to touch the other dark-haired woman's upper arm in what just might be the most mild pat ever. "There, isn't that better?"
Or at least better to LOOK AT, according to Datura's eyes.
Her gaze snaps back to the towering male as he mentions reviewing them along the journey, despite the fact that they've both vanished. Her brow quirks upward. "Through what, osmosis?" Without waiting for a reply, she dismisses the matter from her little blonde brain. After all, Amuro had always been a strange duck- Just look at that mask! -and instead listens to the plan for commencing their own operation within the tower. With a casually displeased sigh, the young woman places a hand on her hip, leaning on one leg to prop her elbow up on Kanami's shoulder, as if the older woman made a good leaning post.
"I'm going to have to pretend to be a helpless little girl, again, aren't I? Nn… Do we at least know when they'll arrive or what towns they'll pass through? I don't want to have to camp outdoors."
Kanami allows Datura to touch her arm with a vaguely questioning look at the offending appendage. Then she focuses back on Amuro. "Hm. Maybe so," she comments neutrally on the matter of osmosis. When Datura leans on her, Kanami tilts a bit, not having an exceptional amount of physical strength. "Eliminate their leadership… I assume you mean at least Jounin-level targets, Amuro-sama? That may be difficult… But I will do my best. Do we know which Villages and 'forces' will be engaging in this struggle?"
Amuro says, "They will be approaching from all directions. We will wait until they have begun to set up their camps in the vicinity of the tower, and then strike to prevent them from scaling said tower. This will likely involve stirring up conflicts between each of the various forces, so that they are more busy fighting each other than in accomplishing what they are there for. We will have a more definite idea of their locations when they arrive, and we have had time to survey their positions."
He then looks towards Kanami and answers, "As far as I know, Konohagakure, Iwagakure, Takigakure, and potentially Kirigakure may be sending ninja to claim the tower and what lies within. Mercenary or 'fringe' groups may also make attempts. None of the lesser groups have the resources or skill necessary to be a threat, but they could be used against the more organized ninja forces with the proper guidance."
Then the tall man says, "Unless there are further questions, I recommend we begin our journey. I do not intend to arrive last this time." Then he takes off running. Perhaps he does not have speed as his specialty, but with his long legs, and what speed he >does< possess, he covers a lot of ground. But he is not trying to move at full speed either. Leaving his companions behind, or exhausting himself early, would both be complications that simply aren't needed.
Was the world tilting? No, that was just Snake Woman's frail physical form bending under her weight! How scrawny could she be!? The younger woman sends the older a sly, amused look from under her lashes as they await the answers to their questions. Of course, Kanami's were a bit more strategicly sound, as Datura's mostly concentrated on investigating the level of creature comforts she could have during this little assignment.
She gives out a little groan, losing much of the pep from both her posture and her expression at the news that they'd be coming from everywhere, at unpredictable times. Which meant spending time outdoors. AWAY from soft beds and delicate foods. Keeping her mumbling under her breath, but not bothering to disguise her displeased expression, she stretches an arm overhead, reaching behind her neck to grab at her elbow as she stretches skyward, like she was just waking up from a particularly good nap.
When Amuro begins to dash off across the open fields, Datura places her hands on the small of her back, arching as she rolls her shoulders and tilts her head up towards the few clouds scudding by.
"I guess the vacation's over."
And then she's running. Who knew she could move that quickly in that outfit? Most people who spent any amount of time around the young blonde tended to forget that she was shinobi-trained and a survivor of the Clan Wars.